Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s announcement that police constables will get jobs without aspirants having to appear for written examinations has surprised many officials involved in recruiting the country’s biggest police force.
On Tuesday, Akhilesh was quoted as saying in Jhansi that his government will make the process of police constables’ selection simple by recruiting one on the basis of only physical endurance test and interview. The announcement comes at a time when the government is getting ready to start the process of selecting 40,000 constables this summer.
The previous Mulayam regime had faced allegations of bungling in the process of constables’ recruitment. Following this, the Mayawati government, which probed the alleged irregularities, had set up the Police Recruitment and Promotion Board to recruit for non-gazetted posts in UP Police in 2008.
Currently, the Board conducts a preliminary written test of 300 marks to decide the cut-off list. Then the selected candidates are made to go through a physical endurance test of 100 marks, which includes a race of 4.8 km in 30 minutes for men and 2.4 km in 18 minutes for women. Lastly, the main written test of 300 marks is conducted through objective type questions.
Home department officials said there no such proposal under discussion as of now, and it will be looked into only after Akhilesh returns from his foreign tour. An officer said the department is yet to know what exactly Akhilesh has in mind and the process he wants to adopt.
A senior Board functionary said the removal of written examination will create problems and affect a system that has evolved over a period of time. “The interview, which was a part of the earlier recruitment process was removed to eliminate the scope of subjectivity.
Now, bringing it back does not appear to be a good move. Without a written test, it will be very difficult to conduct physical tests of all those who apply. We got over 20 lakh applications for the previous recruitment,” he added.
V C Goel, the first chairman of the Board — who is currently the vice-chancellor of Meerut University — said the move does not look “proper”. “IPS officers and DSPs are physically fitter than the constabulary though they go through no physical test. Now is the time when the constabulary needs to be mentally strong. They should have presence of mind. We need thinking constables. Removing written test will lead us back to square one,” he claimed.